Bennett: ‘I hand over a strong and secure State of Israel’

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Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at a military ceremony at the Hatzerim Air Base in southern Israel, on June 23, 2022.
Flash90Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at a military ceremony at the Hatzerim Air Base in southern Israel, on June 23, 2022.

'I did the best I could for the people of Israel, for my beloved people'

At a military ceremony in southern Israel on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett referred to his upcoming departure from his role as premier, saying he did the best he could and ensured “quiet on the borders.”

On Monday, Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid announced that they would disband Israel’s parliament (Knesset) and send the country to its fifth election in less than four years. Days later, the Knesset approved a preliminary bill to dissolve itself.

It is expected to formally disperse next week, with Lapid taking over as caretaker prime minister.

“I did the best I could for the people of Israel, for my beloved people,” Bennett said at a graduation ceremony for Israel Defense Forces (IDF) pilots at the Hatzerim Air Base, The Times of Israel reported.

“I hand over a strong and secure State of Israel with quiet on the borders,” he said, eluding to his looming exit.

“Our enemies know very well that we will find them anywhere in the world in order to safeguard the security of our citizens.”

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Bennett continued to thank the “soldiers and commanders of the IDF… and of all the security agencies… for the rare privilege of having led them.”

“Every time I approved an attack from the air by air force pilots, or a ground operation by IDF combat troops, Yamam [special police], or secret operations by members of other units, I knew we could rely on them.”

Earlier this week, Bennett expressed to Kan public broadcaster the possibility of retiring from politics and not running in the next elections, which are likely to take place in October or November.

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